Inspiring the Future: A Filmmaker’s Journey Inside the Horasis Global Visions Community

By Brendan Davis

February 14, 2020

My name is Brendan Davis. I’m primarily a filmmaker and podcaster from Los Angeles, but as a resident in Beijing on and off since 2013, I have also become a speaker and consultant on US-China issues.

All of the above is why, where, and how I first became interested in the topic of this video, and why I can now share what I am posting here today.

This is Part 1 of a series of videos I’m making about international think-tank Horasis, led by Dr. Frank-Jürgen Richter. The end goal is to make a feature film over the next three years of filming events and locations around the world, but along the way I will release short web videos like this that give you a peek inside one specific event – in this case, the 2019 China Meeting in Las Vegas, NV – and to let you see a little of the work in progress.

Note that this first video was done with no budget and no crew, as a proof-of-concept really, so there are a few very “on the fly” low-res shots. Overall I’m pretty happy with how it came out, though. I look forward to your thoughts, to having a budget and a crew next time, and I hope you enjoy!

Project Details

I first met Frank and learned about Horasis in Beijing in early May, 2019. I interviewed him for my “How China Works” podcast with my co-host Yingying Li; Frank’s episode of that show is linked below. 

In the time since, I became friendly with Frank and came to really appreciate the work that Horasis is doing, so at my own expense I’m now in the very early days of making a long-term independent feature documentary film about the organization, their events, and the fascinating people who make them special. 

I just completed a short “preview” video that you can check out here:


So what is this project and why am I doing it?

First, a definition. Horasis describes themselves as a “global visions community”. They are one of the world’s leading think-tanks working to confront and solve global problems, seeking to “inspire the future”. So that’s where the title of this video series comes from.

My reasons for wanting to dive deep and really follow Frank’s work with Horasis at a granular level are numerous, but I can summarize it in a sentence. The way I see it, the massive global challenges that are the subjects of Horasis meetings require equally massive public engagement to solve and see through to success  – through dialogue, reflection, and action – so I want to shed further light on the most compelling ideas and efforts I discover along the way and then share them with the world.

Doing this is a big project, but I’ll tackle it in bite-sized pieces over a long term:

To start, I’ll be attending and participating in their events around the world and filming interviews with Frank and other key players along the way for 3 years: tracking a variety of goals stated in one year, seeing how they develop over the next, and then looking at the outcomes and reflections on progress and what’s next in the last. 

Then I’ll be posting small videos like this every so often centered on a given event, to keep you up to date and engaged along the way.

And most importantly, as I proceed I’ll also be identifying, compiling and editing the storylines that emerge which best suit a feature film. 

The plan is to attend and follow Frank and Horasis’ efforts through 2023 and then complete and release the proper movie.

The video linked above is a short sample of my approach, primarily using footage and interviews I filmed at the Horasis China Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada in November 2019. 

I’ll use this video alongside my pitch documents to seek grants and other production funding in order to produce and complete this project. If you’d like to help support this effort in any way, please contact me via my website at or at the email address at the end of the video.

To sum up: the mission of Horasis is one I want spread far and wide, so I hope that if you appreciate it too, you’ll support the project by liking, sharing, and leaving positive comments on the video, and even consider becoming part of the team. Thanks for reading, and watching! 


Contact me:

“How China Works” podcast episode with Dr. Richter:

Podcast Transcript: